Fanning the Fires of Perdition

My first day, in my first year of high school was one of the worst days of my young life. Halfway through that day, a boy I knew from primary school, told everyone I was a slut. I mean, what the fuck? Slut was up there with the word cock, had no idea what it meant, and I’ll never forget his name.

That boy destroyed the only sanctuary I had away from my father’s wife, away from that house.

I spent my teen years in hiding, at school and at home. Every one wanted to beat the shit out of the school slut. If the stories from those who worked with my father’s wife were anything to go by, she was likely fanning the flames of those fires.

**Please forgive some of the raw, in-editable wording, I use. Looking back, for me, is not an easy journey.

When I started high school, my father’s wife was working at a pool hall. It’s not as classy as the one pictured, but it still drew all the teens and young adults to her. You could bet that old horse would’ve loved that.

My father’s wife knew the kids I went to school with, so when the owner shut the pool hall down, she opened a burger joint down the road and those kids followed her.

I’d suspected my father’s wife had heard those untruths, in that work environment, the lies spread from one boy, were reinforced by her own. I was a slut, and my father’s wife was in heaven. She would’ve agreed with them, and used those distorted suspicions to ensure her reach into my life, outside of her grasp, continued.

My father’s wife even went so far as to talk about her, ‘Slutty daughter,’ when she moved on to office work after the Burger joint shut down. Oh, and you best believe, even now, if someone accused my father’s wife of the things she said, and spread, about her eldest daughter, her wrath would be intolerable.

She’d likely shake and cry, she was always good at that. Always good at manipulating her kids as if she were an innocent party to whatever she felt threatened her way of life.

As vile and viscous as she was towards, not only me, she still had the power to draw us in until we too cried for her pain.

She doesn’t know what real pain is, only knows how to inflict it! I haven’t spoken to that woman for more than twenty-years, and have no intention of ever seeing, or speaking, to her again.

I met one of those old work colleagues she’d gossiped too, and the things she thought would never be uncovered? They were only hidden by the six degrees of separation rule, though when the group is much smaller, six degrees alters dramatically.

‘Oh, I couldn’t believe what she was saying about you, her own daughter,’ one of them said.

I didn’t have a mother until I had my first child, and only realised that truth after my third. My step mother was the mother, and I was the daughter, we never had. I love her for that.

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